Kolkata: Ridiculing the Election Commission for not allowing him to cast his vote, jailed Trinamool Congress heavyweight Madan Mitra said he wouldn’t have contested the West Bengal assembly polls if he had prior information about the restrictions.
Defending Kamarhati constituency in North 24 Parganas, Mitra is currently behind bars for his alleged complicity in the multi-crore rupee Saradha scam. With the Representation of the Peoples’ Act putting a bar on a prisoner, the former transport and sports minister was not allowed to vote.
“I am a candidate but I was not allowed to vote. They (EC) took Rs.10,000 (security deposit) but I was not allowed to cast my vote. If this was the case they shouldn’t have taken the deposit from me.
“I wasn’t allowed to go to my constituency, and also denied the opportunity to plead before the people about my candidature. If they (EC) had informed me about these restictions beforehand I wouldn’t have contested,” said Mitra, now in a hospital.
Following his hospitalisation late last month, Mitra was put under constant monitoring and barred from using a mobile by the poll panel. The move came in the wake of complaints by the opposition parties that he might use his influence from the hospital and disrupt the polls.
Mitra has been behind bars since his arrest on December 12, 2014, except for a brief period last October when he was granted bail by a lower court.
The relief was subsequently cancelled by the Calcutta High Court.
Mitra exuded confidence of the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool coming to power again.
“The people will give a befitting reply to the EC and Mamata Banerjee will come to power with over 200 seats.
“On May 19 (counting day) I don’t know I will be there or not, but watch the results on TV. Irrespective of where I will be, I will surely be a witness to Mamata Banerjee cabinet’s swearing-in ceremony,” he said.